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Gulai Sapi dan Kacang Merah - Beef and Red Bean Curry

How was your Christmas, folks? I hope you all have a wonderful time with family, friends, and loved ones. We didn’t do anything special this year, just staying home and watching movies. Next month, my parents and brother are coming to visit all the way from Indonesia, so we know that we will be super busy then and try to take things slow for the moment.

Gulai Sapi dan Kacang Merah - Beef and Red Bean Curry
Gulai Sapi dan Kacang Merah - Beef and Red Bean Curry

Anyway, I have a simple recipe for for today. The ingredients can be long and daunting, which is typical with most Indonesian cooking, but I promise that this is super easy to cook, pretty much just dump into the pot and forget. Well… not really like forget, forget, you know, you still need to check and stir every so often, maybe every 20 or 30 minutes until the meat is super tender and the beans are splitting. Then, you can enjoy this delicious “curry” (okay, this is the best translation I can think of for gulai, you can call it spicy stew if you think that is more appropriate) with rice. Perfect for cold winter days.

Gulai Sapi dan Kacang Merah - Beef and Red Bean Curry

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 15 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 4 tablespoon oil
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick (Indonesian: kayu manis)
  • 2 cardamom (Indonesian: kapulaga)
  • 4 cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
  • 1 lemongrass, cut into 4 sections, bruised
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 600 gram beef stew, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • tamarind juice (15 gram tamarind + 4 tablespoon water, mixed and strained)
  • 125 gram dried red beans (Indonesian: kacang merah), washed and drained
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 100 gram shallot (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 6 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 8 dried (or fresh) red chilies
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds (Indonesian: ketumbar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (Indonesian: pala)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (Indonesian: jinten)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (Indonesain: kunyit)


  1. In a wok, heat oil on medium heat, fry spice paste, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and bay leaves until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  2. Add beef, mix well. Cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add water, season with salt, sugar, ground pepper, and tamarind juice. Bring to a boil. Cover the wok, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
  4. Increase the heat and return to a boil, add red beans and coconut milk. Once it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the beans are splitting, and the sauce is reduced by half. About 30-45 minutes.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Bec Bec says:

    Hope you had a great Christmas - but it's great to see ideas NOT about Christmas now! So this looks great - a refreshing change - thank you!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Bec, happy holiday to you as well :)

  • Anna Anna says:

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